Burn

for Wind Ensemble

James Matheson

Rental
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Burn, in its use as a metaphor, transforms into physical sensation a state of intense emotionality. Interestingly, the metaphor of burning is used in the seemingly opposite cases of fervor and pique; within our language, one ?burns? with both rage and desire, both envy and love. When we feel an unrequited longing for another?s presence we ?carry a torch? for him or her, while our current romantic interest is our ?flame.? In addition, the volatile, destructive force which fire symbolizes underlies a whole web of metaphors within our discourse on the emotions: we are ?consumed? by love or anger, or ?ruined? by virtually any of our emotions, while a fire itself ?rages.? And when we find ourselves emotionally drained, having labored at an exhausting task, we are, like a house in which destructive fires have raged, ?burned out.?

Thus, when we ?burn? with an emotion we experience it at its most intense, at the peak of its ability to affect us. Because it is these moments at which we feel most ?alive,? there is an interesting reversal here: ?burning,? with its overtones of destruction, is simultaneously life-affirming, and works toward our total engagement with the world.

It is this sense of intense emotional involvement which I have sought to capture in this work. Consequently, I have deliberately avoided what appear to be the cliches of the band repertoire, and have approached this medium with the same emotional palette, degree of expressiveness, and seriousness of purpose one more typically associates with the orchestra.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Cornell University Wind Ensemble
Composition Date 2001
Duration 00:08:30
Orchestration Wind Ensemble: 2Picc. 3Fl. 2Ob. E.H. EbCl. 3Cl. B.Cl. Cb.Cl. 2Bsn. 4Sax.(SATB) 4Hn. 3Tpt. 2Tbn. B.Tbn. Euph. Tu. 2Cb. Pno. Timp. 5Perc.]
Premiere 2001. Cornell University Wind Ensemble, conducted by Mark Scatterday.

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